A new survey suggests that an overwhelming majority of householders want a legal ban on gazumping.
The result is likely to be seen as implicit backing for government attempts to reform the house buying process through reservation agreements and other initiatives.
The survey has been commissioned by loans company Market Financial Solutions and consisted of a relatively small sample - just 750 owners. However, the results appear to back growing calls for reform of the house buying process.
The findings show:
- 31 per cent have lost out on a property as a result of being gazumped in the past decade;
- 39 per cent have had to pay fees despite not completing on a property purchase;
- 66 per cent believe it’s become harder to buy in recent years because of greater competition and inadequate housing supply;
- 80 per cent in favour of a legal ban on gazumping.
However - ironically but perhaps inevitably - over four out of 10 of those responding admit they themselves may make a gazumping offer if they felt they wanted a property badly enough.
Of those who said they have experienced one or more property purchases fall through in the past decade, 34 per cent said it was due to either themselves or someone in the chain not getting their mortgage approved in time. This number rises to 49 per cent for those aged between 18 and 34.
A third said they encountered delays when trying to sell a house they owned, forcing them to miss out on their next purchase.
MFS chief executive Paresh Raja says: “With demand for UK property constantly high, the process of buying a home has become incredibly competitive. As a result, a significant number of UK homebuyers are losing out on deals at the critical closing stages. Avoiding complicated chains and having immediate access to finance can reduce the chances of a prospective buyer missing out … But it’s clear further measures are needed.”